outdoor living

With summer just around the corner, many Chicagoans are thinking about barbeques, fire pits, and enjoying the night sky from their backyards. Below are five creative ideas for outdoor living spaces that are sure to make those Chicago summers more enjoyable.

Outdoor Kitchen

Kitchens are some of the most popular outdoor living spaces, and they continue to grow more sophisticated with every passing year. You might opt for a fully functional outdoor stove and oven, but even a simple firepit with a grilling grate can serve this purpose. For the best results, focus most of your efforts on creating a comfortable dining space and ensuring that you have plenty of space for storing and serving food.

Firepit & Seating Area

The classic fire pit is a welcome accessory in every yard. It can serve as a gathering place for families to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories, or it can keep you warm as you curl up in a comfortable chair with a delightful book. Fire pits come in all shapes, sizes, and finishes, so there is something for everyone, whether you prefer a sleek industrial design or something a little more rustic. Choose a location for your firepit, install some outdoor seating, and you will have an instant outdoor living space that you are sure to love.

Garden Nook

While it is true that most outdoor living spaces exist close to the main structure of the home, there is no rule that says you can’t create a garden nook several yards away from your back door. You can place a beautiful gazebo in your yard, then add comfortable seating. You can use a walkway that opens into a clearing, then hang a romantic swing from a strong tree branch. You can even create a hardscaped patio in an area surrounded by shrubs, flowers, and trees, then use lounge chairs to create a spa-like getaway. The possibilities are endless.

A Relaxing Pool

While pools are not as popular now as they were 10 or 20 years ago, the demand is on the rise once again. In-ground pools are some of the most desirable, but an above-ground pool can be just as exciting. Most pool areas are surrounded by concrete, but in recent years, homeowners have been opting to recreate a spa-like experience by surrounding their pools with plants and rocks rather than obviously manmade concrete. You can even put a fire pit in the same area so that you can get out of the pool and warm yourself by the fire on those chilly Chicago nights.

Outdoor Family Room

Finally, an outdoor family room gives you the opportunity to relax outdoors with your whole family. Outdoor-safe furniture like sofas, chairs, and tables provide a place to play games, talk about your day, and just enjoy each other’s company. The most popular outdoor family rooms are set up like traditional living rooms, with furniture that faces an outdoor fireplace. It is cozy, warm, and highly enjoyable, and it can improve your home’s resale value, too.

From pools and family rooms to secluded garden nooks, there is no shortage of opportunity to create beautiful outdoor living spaces. Whether you have a sprawling lawn or a tiny urban lawn, there are plenty of ways to maximize your space and make it functional for your family’s needs.